Source: Featured in Australian Solar Quotes Thursday 31/03/2016
Australian battery company, Redflow, are the new kids on the block in the increasingly competitive battery storage industry. As solar power grows in popularity for Australian homeowners and policy makers alike, industry innovators are capitalising greatly.
Australian solar consumers are now spoilt for choice in terms of the battery storage options at their fingertips. The one question is, which one do they choose? Well, Redflow executive chairman Simon Hackett says his battery is in a league above the rest.
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By Georgia Gifford
“This is not just another battery, this is a whole new sort of battery,” Redflow executive chairman Mr Hackett told The Australian.
So, what is just go great about the recently released ZCell storage system? Here’s a breakdown of the latest energy storage innovation hitting the Australian solar market.
How is the ZCell Different?
Redflow’s battery storage system uses a slightly different technology for battery storage to the Tesla Powerwall and other industry competitors. Using zinc-bromide technology, energy is stored in ZCell batteries using liquid electrolytes rather than electrodes in lithium-ion batteries.
The “flow” technology is, according to RedFlow, superior to lithium ion batteries as a method of battery storage. The main reason for this being increased efficiency and lifespan.
If battery storage technology wasn’t already environmentally friendly enough, the ZCell solar power battery is actually made from fully recyclable or reusable components, such as recyclable plastic, aluminium and steel. The fluid electrolyte inside the battery is also about to be reused or repurposed when it’s no longer needed.
The ZCell solar power battery stores 10 kWh of energy and lasts for 10 years. This may sound pretty similar to the Tesla Powerwall and other competitors, but, unlike lithium-ion batteries, the ZCell actually claims to get better with age. In comparison to regular lithium-ion batteries which deteriorate in terms of capacity over the years, the “ZCell lets you discharge 100% of its total stored energy every day, whereas other battery types can require a significant amount of their underlying storage capacity to be locked out to prevent battery damage and to extend battery life,” explained Hackett.
Redflow is also claiming that their ZCell is even safer than its regular lithium-ion counterparts, in the way of fire retardant electrolyte liquid – a feature that reduces the risk of explosion and dangerously high current output.
How Much will the ZCell Cost You?
Redflow has said the 10kWh ZCell energy storage system will sell at around $17,500 to $19,500 including GST – however prices may vary depending on market success. Simon Hackett says, considering the many advantages of the ZCell over other storage systems, the pricing is “highly competitive with other systems on the market”.
The competitive solar storage market only looks to become more interesting as time progresses. So whether you’re an early adopter or a cautious researcher, the renewable energy revolution will be sure to entice you one way or another.